The swan has been a recurring motif in the myths of Western civilisation since the Crusades, but as Jansson J. Antmann talks to the creators of three new productions of Swan Lake by The Australian Ballet, United Ukrainian Ballet and West Australian Ballet, it becomes clear that this archetype is as old as time itself.

Swan Lake
Marilyn Rowe in The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake by Anne Woolliams. Photo © Michael Cook

Something borrowed

Ask anyone to name a ballet and they will most likely say Swan Lake. It is the most referenced ballet in popular culture, from the 1931 title sequence of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula to Billy Elliot and Natalie Portman’s star turn in Black Swan. Rudolf Nureyev famously partnered Miss Piggy in Swine Lake...